New Delhi. The Indian men’s hockey team entered the semi-finals of the 19th Asian Games with a 12-0 win over Bangladesh on Monday.
With five wins in all five of their pool stage matches, India topped the table after the pool stage. In the match against Bangladesh, Harmanpreet Singh (2′, 4′, 32′) and Mandeep Singh (18′, 24′, 46) scored hat-tricks, while Abhishek (41′, 57) scored two goals. At the same time, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (23′), Amit Rohidas (28′), Neelkant Sharma (47′) and Gurjant Singh (56′) also scored one goal each.
The Indian team made an aggressive start in the match. In-form Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh (2′) converted the first penalty corner to give India a 1-0 lead. Moments later, Harmanpreet (4′) converted another penalty corner to put India 2-0 ahead. At the end of the first quarter, the Indian team was leading 2-0.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Bangladesh made a few passes inside India’s half, but Sanjay thwarted the attack. A few minutes later, Mandeep Singh (18′) along with Abhishek inside the circle scored an excellent field goal and made India’s score 3-0.
After this, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (23′) beautifully put the ball in the net. A minute later, Mandeep Singh (24′) picked up the rebound from a penalty corner and scored another goal for India. Amit Rohidas (28′) displayed his drag-flick abilities to convert the final penalty corner as India took a 6-0 lead before half-time.
In the third quarter, Abhishek managed to get an early penalty corner for India, this time Harmanpreet Singh (32′) converted it to complete his hat-trick and put India ahead 7-0. At the end of the quarter, Abhishek (41′) picked up a long pass and hit a powerful reverse hit into the net to extend India’s lead to 8-0.
At the beginning of the last quarter, Mandeep Singh (46′) and Neelkant Sharma (47′) scored to put India ahead 10–0. After this, Gurjant Singh (56′) and Abhishek (57′) scored two consecutive goals to increase India’s lead to 12-0 and this score proved to be decisive. The Indian team will now play its semi-final match on Wednesday.
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